This year marks the Museum & Gallery’s fifth annual Makers Market, which is a craft fair that showcases the work of talented alumni, faculty and student makers during Homecoming weekend on Saturday.
The makers will be featured at the show on the second floor of the Welcome Center and surrounding walkways from 10 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Erin Jones, the director of the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, said that even though the Museum & Gallery’s main collection contains Old Master paintings, M&G wanted to get involved with the Homecoming events in some way to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary artists.
“We listened to the idea of a good friend in town who was remarking on how many university grads there are that are incredibly creative and talented and how we should do some kind of a special market,” Jones said. “M&G then decided that we would be the venue that would feature the grads in support of Homecoming and as a way to be a host or sponsor for these contemporary artists.”
Jones also said that she is interested in seeing more student makers get involved in the event. “We really would love to have more students participate in this because it’s just a great event,” she said. “The whole Homecoming weekend is a lot of fun. And Makers Market has at least 1,000 people coming through, milling around and looking.”
Dr. Brenda Schoolfield, chair of the Division of History, Government and Social Science, participates as a maker in the Makers Market. She primarily sells jewelry made from pendants, patterned papers and glass. “I was kind of nervous about applying because I’m not an artist,” Schoolfield said.
Schoolfield said she began making themed jewelry for a teacher’s sorority in town she belongs to and found that her jewelry sold very well at events. She started to experiment more with paper and pendants, and when that also sold well, she decided to apply to the Makers Market.
“[I would] see if they’d think it was creative enough, and they did,” Schoolfield said. She said that the Makers Market is her busiest and most profitable sales day out of the year, especially because so many people attend the event.
Schoolfield talked about her jewelry making process and how she enjoys making meaningful pieces for people. “[For] one lady … I had copies of her dad’s signature and he said ‘I love you, Dad.’ And so, I put it under glass, and she can wear it. So, I can do custom things, but I also do others.”
Seth Roland, a senior biblical studies major, is currently the only BJU student selling his work at the Makers Market. “I first heard about [the Makers Market] from my older brother who got involved the first year,” he said. “They reached out to us. They knew we’ve made pens and invited us to come.”
Roland said he started making pens as a hobby and eventually turned his passion into a business.
He said their materials come from unique places from all over the world. “We’re from Tuscan, Arizona, and so some of the things we get from our backyard, like cactus skeleton and snakeskin. And then … wood [comes] from different countries like Morocco. [There are] a lot of different African woods that we use.”